Monty Hails Home Internationals Heroes
Colin Montgomerie, the victorious Ryder Cup captain, has heaped praise on Scotland’s Home Internationals heroes and hopes two members of the winning team, Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald, can shine on the big stage on The European Tour this week.
The Scots are still basking in the glory of success at Gailes Links last week, after captain Scott Knowles led his charges to victory in the competition for the first time in six years.
A thumping 10.5-4.5 win over England set the tone for a final day win over Wales and an overall comeback triumph on ‘goal difference’ after the hosts, Ireland and England all finished on two points apiece.
Montgomerie, 49, has fond memories of the annual home nations’ jousts, playing on three Scottish sides between 1984 and 86.
A staunch supporter of Scottish Golf at all levels, Montgomerie was delighted to hear of Scotland’s win and believes it reflects the positive strides being made by Scottish amateurs and professionals in 2012.
“It’s a super, super example of how Scottish Golf is on the up,” he said, also hinting at Paul Lawrie’s return to The Ryder Cup team after a 13-year absence.
“It proves there is strength in depth in the amateur game. It’s not just one player who can win, but a whole team. Strength in depth is what we need in Scotland and it’s about proving it in the future now for some of these lads.”
The eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner added: “It’s a great win for the team, fantastic for Scottish Golf. I remember playing myself in 1984 at Royal Troon and it’s a fantastic way into the international game. The Eisenhower Trophy is coming up in October, so there is great competition for that side.
“It’s great for Scottish Golf, it’s always great to win the Home Internationals, especially beating the ‘Auld Enemy’ in England so well and winning it overall.”
Monty is among a host of Scots competing over The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles this week for The Johnnie Walker Championship.
Scottish Amateur champion Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) and Jack McDonald, also 19, of Kilmarnock (Barassie), the leading Scot on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, have both also received invites for the event at The 2014 Ryder Cup venue.
McDonald played all four rounds at Castle Stuart in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July and is hoping for another fine week, while Forrest is also out to continue a dream few weeks.
Having won the national title at Royal Dornoch and then tasted Home Internationals glory, he found himself on the Perthshire practice range yesterday near to Europe’s Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal.
“I’ve been a little nervous, but hopefully I can stay calm and take it a shot at a time as normal,” said Grant. “I hope to play well but it’s more about experience for me this week.
”Olazabal was a couple of bays in front of me yesterday afternoon, so it’s brilliant to be standing beside these players rather than watching them on TV.
Montgomerie, speaking exclusively to www.scottishgolf.org at Monty's Monthly Medal Final at The Carrick on Loch Lomond earlier this week, added: “It’s great for Jack and Grant to be playing on the world stage at Gleneagles, especially with it being the final counting event for The European Ryder Cup team. I hope they thrive in the atmosphere.”